by Phil Porter
an excerpt from his book The Slightly Mad Rantings of a Body Intellectual Part One
My crackpot theory is that when thinking of our bodies we spend 90% of the time plotting ways to fix ourselves. We’ll go to the gym, stop eating cake, apply exotic creams, dye our hair, get new clothes, meditate more, get a tan. Unfortunately, much of it never passes the planning stage. We may never do the things we intend. Is that a good way to spend our time and energy? The other ten percent of the time we work with our limitations, even celebrate them, we build on our strengths, we seize the moment, we revel in our ability to live and love. We learn from our mistakes and turn them into triumphs, we see opportunity in chaos, we sing in the shower, we reach out and zap others with compassion and concern. Sounds like more fun doesn’t it? So here is what I suggest: reverse the percentages.
Let’s spend 90% of our time having the glorious wonder of our bodyspirits and 10% of the time trying to fix ourselves up. You don’t have to give up your self-improvement schemes entirely. There is little harm in those desires and sometimes they even pay off. But meanwhile, you can have so much more than you can imagine. Within any of our perceived limitation resides and infinite range of possibilities. They may not be the same set of options that you had 10 years ago, but they are still endless. Even if you are seriously limited by some sort of big body deal there is so much potential waiting to burst forth. How do you do it?
- Look for the good. Celebrate your gifts, your accomplishments, your relationships, your small and large triumphs. Notice them in others if you find it difficult to name them for yourself.
- Notice what creates energy and grace in your life. Have more of it. Put yourself in the settings that give you a sense of liveliness, peace, ecstasy or whatever it is you desire.
- Open your circle of concern. Look past your own body spirit. Pay attention to the wonderful gifts around you. So much of the joy of living has to do with relationship. And when we can include others in our circle it immediately widens our own possibilities.
This would be a good beginning in the process of percentage reversal.